The Harry Potter DSM: Cluster A Personality Disorders

Personality Disorders seem like the sort of thing you’d remember best by actually seeing somebody with the diagnosis – not just by memorizing criteria.

But with a Psychiatry final in one week, that’s not going to happen – so instead, I’m just going to kill some study time by mock-diagnosing Harry Potter characters.  As one does.

So!  Here are the General DSM Requirements for a Personality Disorder.  Let’s go.

Paranoid PD

"CONSTANT VIGILANCE." - Mad-Eye Moody

Paranoid Criteria: Mad-Eye seems like the logical pick here – and he does meet some of the criteria.  But I have some reservations:

1.  Are these traits really pervasive throughout other areas of his life?  I just don’t know that I can see him accusing a significant other of cheating, or suspecting he’s been short-changed by a cashier.

2.  More importantly, you’d have to rule out PTSD – which, given his past, would seem more likely.

3.  And doesn’t he have a good, solid reason to think Voldemort could come back at any moment and the Death Eaters are out to get him?

… Well, seeing as how those guys stole his eye and stuffed him in a trunk – yeah, probably.  (Though it might be interesting to interesting to interview a teenage Moody and see what he’s like.  After all, being paranoid doesn’t necessarily mean people won’t eventually be out to get you…)

Schizoid PD

Severus Snape

He wasn’t very sociable either.  Snape never had friends” – Alan Rickman

Schizoid Criteria:  He only needs to meet 4, but I believe he shows elements of all of them.

I know he loved Lily and wanted to be with her, which isn’t exactly prototypical Schizoid.  I guess I could either say “Dude, he’s the closest character I could think of,” or  “Actually, her rejection likely led directly to his preference of an avoidant attachment style – a key feature of the Schizoid personality.”  (NYT article, Proposed DSM 5 Revision).

(To be honest, between his unstable home life, constant teasing, and rejection/death of the one person he ever loved, I think being withdrawn and avoidant sounds downright reasonable.)

Schizotypal PD

"A Wrackspurt - they're invisible, they float in through your ears and make your brain go fuzzy," she said. "I thought I felt one zooming around in here."

Schizotypal Criteria:  Ideas of reference, odd beliefs and magical thinking, unusual perceptual experiences, and “behavior or appearance that is odd, eccentric, or peculiar”?  This is so Luna.  There’s no doubt in my thoroughly uneducated M1 mind that Luna Lovegood would be the queen of this personality type.

Granted, she’d have to be over the age of 18 to qualify – but given what we know of her father’s personality type, she might have a familial disposition.  (Fictional Genetics!  Totally a thing.)

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10 thoughts on “The Harry Potter DSM: Cluster A Personality Disorders

  1. This might be my new favorite post of yours to date! And really, that’s saying something. Diagnosis for Professor Trelawney? She definitely has issues.

    • Ooh, love Trelawney. From what we know, I think she’s more Schizotypal than anything else – but something about her alcohol dependence and the scene she made when Umbridge fired her makes me think there’s something deeper going on. Maybe a rocky romantic life and some Dependent traits? 🙂

  2. Why aren’t you in my class?

    Sigh.

    [Not like ‘creepy stalker’ sigh more like ‘oh my gawd the theatrical shenanigans we could get up to’ and ‘there are so many people in my class who take themselves so bloody seriously’ sigh.]

    🙂

  3. Aw, thanks you guys! I’m so relieved that people who *aren’t* me find this kind of thing entertaining. (I’m easily amused, so I never know.)

    Cluster B is definitely happening!

  4. Actually, for schizotypal, there is no age requirement. I don’t know why people always assume that or where they get that from. I was diagnosed with it at 13 and it was an appropriate diagnosis.

  5. Hahaha I love this! Studying for USMLE and while reading Type A-schizotypal, I immediately thought of Luna ! Googled to see if anyone had had the same realization :p

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